Life at the end of the road

September 15, 2016

The deer are moving

Almost half way through September and the seasons are definitely changing. Recent weather reports seem to suggest an exceptionally warm September to the sowf. It’s certainly not been cold here right enough but nothing like the 30’s in London and the south east. A balmy 17 degrees is just ‘damn fine splendid’ as far as I’m concerned.

Mild it may be but it’s the daylight length that governs most creatures habits and they are certainly not fooled by this unseasonal heat wave. The hinds are grouping together and the stags splitting up and searching for a harem, at least some of them are. This morning on the way south I spotted three beauties by the patch of fen grass at ‘The place where the men of Oscaig met’.

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The picture is ‘pure pish’ I know, and I really must buy another decent camera. The hormones were just starting to rise in this trio, with the two on the left locking antlers in some playful banter. Another week or so and they’ll be drawing blood and letting out their blood curdling bellows.

Yesterday it was the swallows that were amassing down by the ferry at 7:00AM.


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Another carp picture I know but it certainly felt like summer had left on that dreich morning.


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Not that you’d believe it but this was the same day a few hours later when the MV Hebridean Princess called into Raasay for a few hours and a bit of a ‘touch up’. The little boat near the bow is busy going round with a paint roller and some blue paint Smile

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Monday proved to be a day of rainbows, the best ones being just as the sun was going down, but once again the wee camera doesn’t do them justice.

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Hybrid number 3

The third CMAL hybrid vessel should be ‘handed over’ to Cal Mac on Friday, Catriona has been doing various trials up and down the Clyde this last few weeks.



Here she is a couple of weeks ago at Lochranza on Arran with the PS Waverly in the distance. She’ll be spending her summers here and then doing the dry dock relief during the winter.



Here she is again at Lochranza with the current MV Loch Tarbert, who’s ‘18 car’ deck is struggling to cope. The Catriona may only have an extra 5 spaces according to her specification, 23 as opposed to 18. However when Tarbert was designed it was Vauxhall Vivas and Morris Marinas that were filling her deck. These days it’s campervans and Ford Mondeo estates with a bicycle rack on the back or roof that ensure she’s lucky to get 9 aboard on some sailings. The hybrid’s are scaled for the 21st century cars that like the population have grown fatter and heavier.

And no, I’ve not been ‘doon the Clyde’ taking pictures, I’ve Brian Macmillan to thank for those excellent shots Smile

More than half way

One thing for sure though, I’m struggling to get to grips with the fact that I’m more than halfway through a shift! Had we been working the same shift pattern as the rest of the ‘small ferries fleet’ I’d be well into my ‘rest week’ now. Thankfully we don’t and I now only have to wait until next Tuesday to start my month holiday Smile Smile 

It’s been a helluva week too as we’ve had a few extra bodies

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and chefs on board. That will be Richard’s ‘Brexit Pie’, not that I’m a fan Smile The pie was lovely right enough but being of good Italian ‘peasant stock’ I was always quite fond of the EU for all its faults.

Aye the old Hallaig has been kinda mobbed with extra crew, mainly training Catriona seamen and covering holidays, but also an engineer or two. The greenhouse, sorry wheelhouse has at last got the air conditioning it should have had when new. This has considerably improved the skippers mood, quite rightly so as it was reaching 35 degrees up there when it was less than 18 outside. The ships owners insisting that there was no ‘legal’ upper limit for a working environment!! It’s against the law to transport live animals if the temperature exceeds 30 degrees but not people apparently Smile


Taking shape

Raasay’s distillery construction is steaming ahead with the old annex demolished long ago

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and half the hill behind removed and converted into beautiful rock for the Gabion baskets and hard-core. Would love to get my hands on a few tons of that stuff for around the house Smile There’s even a club you can join, get some whisky out of the first 100 casks and spend some time on Raasay if you’re a member. Better updates on progress in this video

Dunno what’s going on today up there but Eyre Plant’s ‘batching truck’ has been in and out all day.


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The ‘batcher’ wasn’t the only Scania today, Robertson’s old 93 ‘float’ came in for this years ‘batch’ of lambs for market.


We also had another visit from Skye Jeep Tours today who probably bounced up and down ‘Calum’s Road’ to the delight of it’s occupants.

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That’s it really,

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well apart fro a bunch of hinds ‘lookin’ for lurve’ at 6:30 this morning.



  1. Perhaps the distillery would like you to haul away some rock? Why you could use a couple to patch holes in Callum’s Road, thereby giving the distillery an historical link for future adverts.

    Comment by drgeo — September 15, 2016 @ 6:41 pm

  2. Good picture of the old and new, do you think the Catriona will still be going in 70 years?

    Comment by Kev — September 16, 2016 @ 8:14 am

    • I doubt it Kev, but if she is it’ll be around Greece or the Philippines 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 22, 2016 @ 11:36 am

  3. This is continues to be a really excellent blog in all aspects and is the only blog that I read regularly. Good photos also. Keep up the good work. We met briefly a year ago at the turning place at the end of Callum’s Road…. remember the Isle of Man reg ? Amazingly we had just met another Manx car about 3 miles down the road ! What were the chances of that ?? Best wishes.

    Comment by Richard Clark — September 19, 2016 @ 2:50 pm

    • Hi Richard, I’m flattered and hopefully the pictures will improve.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 22, 2016 @ 11:33 am

  4. Hi Paul i tried to email you but BT address seems to have failed. I have a free surplus camera for you a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7 email me if you want it.

    Comment by shippostcard — September 20, 2016 @ 3:12 pm

    • Many thanks for the offer Andrew but I just ordered an FZ72 on Sunday 🙂 Looking forward to using it when it arrives.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 22, 2016 @ 11:32 am

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